Calvin Johnson's absence was evident on the field for the Detroit Lions during their 22-9 loss to Green Bay on Sunday.
But Johnson apparently was close to playing despite his knee injury. The star wide receiver was declared inactive Sunday after being listed as questionable throughout the week.
"Real close," Johnson said. "Obviously we weren't all the way there today, so working hard to get back."
The Lions hope that the knee injury, which was different than the strain Johnson had last season, will not be long-term. It's just a bit of good news for owners who forced to come up with an alternate plan this week, or worse, didn't know Johnson ended up not playing.